“Those who would give up essential liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” – Benjamin Franklin
New Zealand – the “land of the long white cloud” – has evolved into a police state overnight amid the fallout of Covid-19, with people now being encouraged to dob in fellow Kiwis who flout lockdown rules.
While slow to apprehend Covid-19 initially and taking nonsensical measures such as banning travel from Iran while allowing travel from Italy unabated, the New Zealand government quickly changed tack and announced it was implementing a four-tier threat level to deal with the virus. It wasn’t long after this that the government gave New Zealanders a two-day period for everyone to tie up loose ends and prepare for what is essentially a nationwide lockdown (threat level four), which will continue for at least four weeks.
As part of this, a state of emergency was declared last week which saw the powers-that-be activate emergency legislation. This current state of affairs enables New Zealand’s National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to close or restrict access to roads or public places, regulate land, water and air traffic, and even evacuate and enter people’s premises, among other measures. The New Zealand police are responsible for maintaining law and order during the state of emergency, and have been given special powers to order any person to stop any activity that contributes to the emergency. As of today, the state of emergency has been extended by another seven days.